ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Governor Rick Scott awarded Westgate Resorts with the Innovation and Expansion in Tourism and Hospitality Award at a prestigious event held in the Governor's mansion Tuesday night. This is the first time the Governor's Innovation and Expansion award was presented to a major hospitality company.
The criterion for selecting award recipients was extremely competitive and each award was broken down into three separate awards recognizing companies based on the size of their respective markets. Specifically, the Innovation and Expansion in Tourism and Hospitality Award was given to Westgate Resorts for being the Florida company that "best exemplifies innovation developed through product or process in the last three years" in a "mega" (very large) market location.
Governor Scott commented, "The businesses we are recognizing today helped create the strong economy we have in central Florida," adding, "Florida families can live, learn and work toward the American Dream because of the opportunities that these companies provide." He also added that he was proud of those recognized for their ability to "flourish and prosper" in the state of Florida.
Commerce Secretary Swoope also commended the companies being recognized stating, "Florida and its companies continue to be the model for economic recovery and growth. Companies from every industry around the state have helped produce jobs and provide opportunities that companies in other states haven't been able to match," concluding, "They deserve to be recognized for their resilience, innovation and achievements."
Among those in attendance representing Westgate Resorts were President and CEO David Siegel and COO Mark Waltrip. After the Governor's remarks, Mr. Siegel accepted the award and stated, "We are honored to be recognized as a leader in the hospitality and tourism industry. We had the best year in our 44-year history and hired thousands of new team members. We want to thank our Governor Rick Scott for making Florida a great place to do business."
For more information on the Governor's Innovators in Business Awards, please visit the Governor's website and view the full list of winners at http://www.flgov.com/2014/01/21/governor-scott-announces-winners-of-2013-governors-innovators-in-business-awards. For more information about Westgate Resorts, visit www.westgateresorts.com.
SOURCE Westgate Resorts